Sunday, June 11, 2017

Teriyaki Zucchini and Shrimp

Most weeks meal planning, and the resulting cooking, is a struggle.

I love trying new recipes but they are always a gamble. If the recipe I was supposed to cook on Sunday and eat for lunch all week turns out to be a disaster, then I'm scrambling all week to figure out what to pack for lunch.

And just because something looks delicious on Pinterest is no guarantee that it will be edible. I have been mislead by many pretty picture or cool video only to find an unappetizing mess as the result.

Which is why, after wading through the woes of having to cook for myself, I am bringing you one of my favorite discoveries, a recipe so delicious I hope you cook it tonight and then thank me for changing your life.

Or whatever.

The recipe is so simple I feel almost silly for writing it. However, when I'm on the hunt for recipes I exclusively look for the foolishly-simple-ready-in-under-30-minutes ones. Just call me Rachael Ray.

What I love about this recipe, besides the fact it is mouth wateringly delicious (yes spell checker that is a word. that I made up. still counts) is that it uses ingredients that I always have on hand. But here's my first caveat-- they aren't necessarily ingredients you will have in your cupboard. The result is so amazing you should definitely go out right now and buy whatever you don't already have.

Okay. Enough vague rambling! You came here for a recipe, not my blathering. I adapted this sauce from THIS RECIPE I found through Pinterest. Originally this sauce was supposed to be slathering onto salmon which then cooked in the oven-- and definitely check the recipe out because that is delicious in its own right. However, I think I prefer my adaptation. 

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup soy sauce [[I always buy the low sodium variety because I can't tell a difference in taste and. health.]]
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar [[this is a weird ingrediant that I somehow have in my cupboard? I have no clue why I orginally bought it, but one bottle will last you agessss. actually look up expirations dates yourself. don't listen to me. but does vinegar even go bad?]]
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced [[I bought pre-minced garlic and it has changed my life. or just chop your fresh garlic. whatever]]
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil [[I bought this orginally for a Pioneer woman's recipe that I hated because holy cow you guys this ingrediant is shockingly flavorful and can easily become overpowering. I always use a little less than 1/2 teaspoon]]
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon water

*sigh* I'm in love with this teriyaki sauce. Like, it's amazing and can go on so many things-- roasted veggies, any sort of protein, just rice, etc etc. The combination I've been loving, however, is sauteing zucchini and shrimp in this sauce. 

And literally it's as easy as that-- do I even need to write out steps? Fine, I want to feel like a real food blogger so here ya go:

1. Start rice in rice cooker ((or if you have magical kitchen powers feel free to make it on the stove and then teach me your secrets))
2. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce. Typically you mix the cornstarch and the water separately and then add to the rest. However, that trick is mainly used when you are adding the cornstarch to an already hot liquid and since you would be adding it to cold liquid, either way will work. You can dump everything together before turning on the heat, or mix the cornstarch and water separately and then add to the rest of the sauce. Can this step get any longer.

3.  Whisk the ingredients together and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil for several (2-3) minutes and then reduce heat. The sauce should be thickened slightly. But don't be like me who wants a dramatic transformation-- I once reduced something for so long that when it finally cooled it was a thick sludge; not good. It will thicken more as it cools.
4. While your saucing is cooking, start sauteing your zucchini-- I cut mine in thick slices and they need a little extra time to cook all the way through. Optional but not really: use a cast-iron skillet to saute everything in. you're welcome. 
5. Once the zucchini as started to cook, slather on the teriyaki sauce, using as much as you need. Don't get too crazy because I love to pour this sauce on the rice before eating. 

6. You can cook the shrimp separately, also liberally slathering with the sauce, or in the same pan as the zucchini. I'm both lazy and don't mind over cooked shrimp so I put everything in the cast iron. The shrimp technically don't require much cooking time ((cook until pink; like four minutes on either side?)) but I cook my shrimp until the zucchini is done so they are probably technically overcooked but guess who isn't complaining. Me. 

I added onions because they were in my fridge-- don't ask me what I was thinking leaving them in huge chunks like that. Note to future self: take the extra two seconds and 

And that's it! Take everything off the heat, pile your zucchini and shrimp over your rice, finish with a little drizzle of the teriyaki sauce and then send me your adoration and thanks for solving the whole dinner problem. 

PS always add avocado!